Died June 17

Cyd Charisse took up dance as a child to help her gain strength after a bout with polio. Did that ever work; she became a leading dancer and actress in Hollywood. Charisse was usually partnered in the movies with dance greats Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. She starred in the movies "Singin' in the Rain" and "Brigadoon." We remember her life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including Dutch artist M.C. Escher.

2015: John David Crow, U.S. college football running back who won the Heisman Trophy in 1957 playing for Texas A&M University, dies at 79.

2013: Jim Goddard, English director known best for directing the Sean Penn and Madonna movie "Shanghai Surprise," dies at 77.

2012: Rodney King, U.S. construction worker and motorist who became nationally known after he was beaten by Los Angeles police officers, dies in an accidental drowning at 47.

Rodney King (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)The beating had been videotaped and shown throughout the world. The 1992 riots, which were touched off by the acquittals of the officers who beat King, lasted five days and left more than 60 people dead, more than 2,000 injured, and swaths of Los Angeles on fire. At the height of the violence, King pleaded on television, "Can we all get along?" Read more

 

 

 

 

2008: Cyd Charisse, U.S. dancer and actress known best for pairing up with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in musical films including "Singin' in the Rain" with Kelly and "Silk Stockings" with Astaire, dies of a heart attack at 86.

Former President Teddy Roosevelt and Hollywood dance legend Cyd Charisse, aka Tula Ellice Finklea, had a few things in common – great charisma, multiple marriages – and both turned to intense physical training to overcome childhood illness. While Roosevelt took to horsemanship and hunting, Charisse turned to dance to build up her strength after surviving polio as a child. At age 6, the Amarillo, Texas, native found her calling. Read more

 

 

 

2007: Serena Wilson, U.S. dancer and choreographer who helped popularize belly dancing in the United States and hosted her own TV show, dies of a blocked lung artery at 73.

2006: Arthur Franz, U.S. character actor who appeared in many movies and television shows including "Sands of Iwo Jima" and "The Mod Squad," dies of emphysema and heart disease at 86.

2005: Karl Mueller, U.S. musician who was a founding member and the bassist for the Minneapolis alternative rock band Soul Asylum, dies of cancer at 41.

2002: Willie Davenport, U.S. track and field athlete who won a gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, dies of a heart attack at 59.

1996: Curt Swan, U.S. comic book artist known best for his work drawing "Superman" comics from the 1950s until the '80s, dies at 76.

1989: John Matuszak, U.S. NFL defensive end for the Oakland Raiders who won two Super Bowl championships and later became an actor, appearing in "The Goonies" and on TV shows such as "M*A*S*H" and "Cheers," dies of a prescription drug overdose at 38.

1987: Dick Howser, U.S. Major League Baseball shortstop and manager known best as manager of the Kansas City Royals in the 1980s, who led them to the franchise's only World Series title in 1985, dies of a malignant brain tumor at 51.

1986: Kate Smith, U.S. singer who had a long career in radio, television, and recording and was known best for her version of "God Bless America," dies at 79.

1974: Pamela Britton, U.S. actress known best for her role in the film noir classic "D.O.A." and for starring as Lorelei Brown on the television show "My Favorite Martian," dies of cancer at 51.

1973: Luis Van Rooten, U.S. character actor who appeared with Edward G. Robinson in "Night Has a Thousand Eyes" and Kirk Douglas in "Detective Story," dies at 66.

1961: Jeff Chandler, U.S. actor known for his role as Cochise in "Broken Arrow," who was one of Hollywood's most popular leading men in the 1950s, dies of complications during routine surgery at 42.

1954: Danny Cedrone, U.S. guitarist who was the session musician for Bill Haley and His Comets on the recording of "Rock Around the Clock," whose guitar solo on that song is one of the most memorable in rock history, dies at 33, before the song becomes famous, when he accidentally falls down stairs at a bar after picking up dinner for his family.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including Dutch artist M.C. Escher.